URGENT discussion on current vote: "Reduce UNI Governance Proposal & Quorum Thresholds"

Listened to the discussion. Thanks for adding value to the community through open discourse. I’ll share my thoughts if anyone wants to geek out on philosophy, anthro-complexity, economics, etc.

Be warned TLDR: humans are complex social beings and we are far better served finding ways to achieve working compromise, than to demonize each other simply because our values differ. If Dharma refuses to engage in this dialog, then we have no choice but to assume they are complicit by absence. If however, they choose to collaborate on a solution but we continue to vacillate in our refusal to empathize, we are complicit by choice and have undermined our right to an objective opinion.


  1. The assumption that a ‘for profit’ organization has nothing but self-interest in mind is extremely problematic. The core polarity fallacy that if it’s not black, it must be white, is central here. Just because you are ‘for profit’, does not mean that your corporate value system focuses solely on driving revenue to sate the maniacal appetites of their shareholders. This is a blessedly naïve perspective of the world. Dharma is definitely fighting to establish a viable business model, but can we seriously kangaroo-court them into a ‘corporation’ stigma, and by association, assume arbitrarily that their actions should all be examined through the lens of ‘evil centralized interests’? We are acting precisely in the manner with which we are accusing them, but standing behind our value system as justification. Centralized vs decentralized. Representation vs Plutocracy. Polarities are fallacies, because most of life is lived in the middle - a spectrum.

  2. The romanticism around decentralized permissionless governance is quaint, but they don’t address human nature and what we know of behavioural economics. Humans are hierarchical. Even as hunter gatherers we operated within a social hierarchy - if not a power hierarchy. Whether it is a token, or fiat, or social recognition, or kudos, all systems migrate towards autopoietic balance - or centralized control. If i can buy, or take, or trick others into giving me that item of intrinsic value, then i will do whatever is necessary to acquire it. The incentive is far too enticing to avoid for long. Eventually, power consolidates, or social influence consolidates into a systemic balance. Maybe technology can overcome this, but not for a very long time - our cognition is not wired for that degree of critical thought. Dharma is utilizing whatever means they have within the rules to achieve their ‘noble’ outcome. Everyone’s version of nobility differs of course, but we cannot immediately assume that a substantial delegate in the system went through all that trouble only to undermine the same system. If they are truly a ‘for-profit’ organization, there are far better and more effective ways to establish your brand presence, than to mount a ‘take-over’ campaign like we were trapped in a Sun Tzu essay 1000s of years after it was written. That is soo 90s corporate. Today, boardrooms are grappling with complexity - not the ‘competition’.

  3. The one token - one vote is incredibly short-sighted, which you guys recognized. The ancient greeks made it work in a village town square where the numbers never exceeded 100s, and where decisions had existential consequences. When the Romans capitulated into an Empire, democracy died with it. That was a long time ago. Today, decentralizing decision making on a planet of 6 Billion is riddled with issues. The assumptions that you are forced to adopt includes a knowledgeable, conscientious voter who has the greater interests of the group in mind. If you cannot assure that, then you are left with adopting a delegate model, because like Plato’s philosopher king, the decision making is then given to a trusted person that has earned the right. In our case, delegates have to use social influence to acquire tokens, which renders them as no better than a politician. This is a horribly broken system. The solutions, sadly, are emergent. We simply don’t know because humanity has never been here before. I can suggest one thing however. Systems that adapt successfully are those that can change as quickly as the underlying context. This is the basis of Complexity Science and what it has taught us. Experimenting with different forms of governance, and yes, failing forward, will get us closer to an emergent solution that works ‘better’. I’m sure political scientists and marcro economists are busy writing papers about this as we speak. If however, we don’t have a fast feedback loop in our governance structure, then whether through voter apathy or highly restrictive governance constraints, the absence of a self-healing mechanism will not allow Uniswap to evolve quickly enough to avoid it’s own demise (all systems fight entropy in their own way - eventually most fail - look at the turnover of the fortune 500 for proof of this mechanism). This only leads towards one outcome. I like the idea of autonomous proposals to help solve that!

We are the trail blazers here, but we are fighting the most challenging of all possible challenges - humanity. In some ways, we are inquiring into human psychology and attempting to version it socially. Not an easy task, but who knows, with recent development in epi-genetics, it could work! :slight_smile: I don’t have answers, but I do know one thing. Demonizing people or entities autonomically because of a perceived difference in ideologies, will get us nowhere. We may as well crawl back into that cave and we’ll get exactly what we deserve - crypto or otherwise. There are lots of upcoming disruptive technologies that will make crypto seem like solving a rubik’s cube (AGI for example). If however, we enter into open dialog where the intent is to achieve, NOT consensus, but something better as a result of the collaboration. Something unique, perhaps innovative, then we have unlocked the human potential for endless creativity. What I have objected to all along on this thread is not whether Dharma gets or does not get an opportunity to reward their poor idle, and mostly completely oblivious users who’ll never know that they can ‘claim’ any UNI. It was always about the knee-jerk reaction that many of us tend towards because of the perceived assault on our value system and our beliefs. The variety in values will always be there, unless we are condoning a 1984-like conditioning campaign. Finding ways to achieve effective compromise is the only way forward. What will happen when the world figures us out and massive fiat starts getting pumped into the system? :slight_smile: The lobsters will very quickly sort out their hierarchy. Our biology dictates it. Can we sort out the technology to solve this inevitability? I doubt it, but it’s definitely worth the attempt.

p.s. I’m still a bit of a crypto neophyte, but why can’t we have a 1-wallet address 1-vote system? The address is weighted slightly by tenure of stake and size of stake, but only to incentivize good behaviour. KYC seems to be the only hiccup, because otherwise I’d just create bots to mount a sybill-like attack. What if KYC established uniqueness of your identity but without centrally hosting those details? I’m sure there is something like this out there. Anyway, just thinking out loud.

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God damn that intro is too long.

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:orange_heart::yellow_heart::green_heart::blue_heart: Dharma are attempting a backdoor take-over.

Uni is for everyone.

Retroactive drops are not the ethos of Cryptocurrency. Vote NO to Dharma scum for trying to ruin the system!

This Magical Unicorn has a long and healthy life ahead of it. :unicorn:

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Below, words of @strangechances .
"I would emphatically clarify three points about the UNI discussions regarding retroactive distribution and lowering thresholds. There’s a lot of misinformation surfacing in the forums and media, and misinformation is bad for governance. So let me share these assertions:

  1. Dharma itself does not get UNI from its proposal for retroactive distribution. It’s the users of multiple wallets (Dharma, Argent, etc.) who will receive the UNI, for trading on Uniswap via meta-transactions. This is in alignment with the goals of the initial UNI distribution.
  2. Dharma is not a UNI “bagholder”, and there is no chance of Dharma “controlling Uniswap”. This is something that was incorrectly argued by blockchain media company Decrypt. Some investors, who are not invested in Dharma, have delegated to Dharma, and this is a vote of trust.
  3. If the Uniswap Governance parameters remain the way they are (40m UNI), it’s unlikely that any decentralized UNI governance could happen this year. Either voter participation or share of delegation needs to increase significantly for it to be viable.
    Further discussion: I believe UNI community should prioritize proving that decentralized can governance work. The retroactive distribution proposal is fair and lower risk than the initial distribution, since we know there is a 1:1 user:address relationship. It’s a great step.".
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There doesnt appear to be any benefit for a smallish holder to actually vote no here. My small holdings arent going to make any significant change to the ratio. The proposal will pass or fail on whether it reaches quorum, so rather than persuading people to vote no, its more a case of persuading them to not vote yes (and not delegating to those who may).

I’m a soft no to this proposal, because as the OP points out, its two different things and should be seperated and its also too soon to start making very significant governance changes proposed by a high level holder which gives them additional power.

I dont see anything necessarily nefarious in it, but I’m very aware that blockchain governance is in its infancy and my concern is that it may transpire that there is no way to reverse it, as it becomes easier for large holder to shut down reversal routes.

There is a low level awareness among ordinary uni holders (and for many of them, this will be the first time that they have held a governance token) about their responsibilities. Even although I have some familiarity with governance, I dont know how to delegate my votes responsibly, because I dont really have a feel for the ethos and values of those who I may delegate to, and the gas fees for voting directly with such a small holding are an inhibitory factor

Good job, @uni0, on defending the Uniswap governance.

  1. Fundamentally, there is no reason to lower the quorum threshold.

You already only need 21% of the current supply to vote yes - and it will come down to 4% eventually.

I don’t think that many voting decisions need to be passed during the first few months of Uniswap governance. We simply don’t have the safety practices in place yet. No teams to develop proposals, no audit teams to verify that the proposals are solid.

  1. When it comes to the Dharma & Gauntlet group of interest, we can identify a couple of things about them.

The goal: they want to get another UNI airdrop.

a) When it comes to UNI airdrop itself, I see no reason for it to be done. It is somewhat clear now that airdropping UNI is not an efficient way to build the community to govern the protocol. There are a lot of better ways.

Just think about it: 251k addresses received free UNI, and most topics on the governance forum don’t reach 1k views.

b) How much UNI do they want to get airdropped on them exactly?

If they already have 30m votes, how much more will they gain from this airdrop?

What percentage of the supply do we find reasonable for this group of interest to have?

Keep in mind that it’s much easier to act as a single entity.

You could view one vote from a single entity as 2 or 3 votes from not mobilized voters.

So, Dharma & Gauntlet group of interest want to:

  • Lower the quorum so that they can reach it without community support. Lowering the quorum is harmful to the protocol in its early governance stages.
  • Effectively send themselves the UNI from the governance treasury, which in turn means giving themselves more voting rights.

The method: delegates use deceptive tactics.

  • The rider problem has been mentioned a lot here already.
  • The justification for lowering the quorum threshold is highly speculative. The analysis is made in a way that would fit the desired outcome.

Let’s take a close look at this post. It looks smart. All that code in it makes it look nifty. The code is not understood by most people who read it, but it creates a reputational signal. There’s code, graphs, Nansen, PGP signatures. But there is no essence to it.

Creating a model based on the assumption that Binance will always have 25m UNI tokens just doesn’t make sense.

And there is no disclosure in this post of how the proposed changes benefit the Dharma & Gauntlet group of interest.

The real analysis of the implications of lowering the quorum threshold would be about how it would feed into Dharma & Gauntle’s ability to distribute the governance treasury towards themselves. That is a much more real and apparent issue.

And make no mistake, by “themselves,” I mean the whole group of interest and not just its representatives. This group has an interest in getting free UNI. And by getting free UNI, it will get more control over governance decisions in the future.

I’m not sure why anyone other than people who directly benefit from it would ever get behind this proposal.

I also don’t see the value in distributing UNI towards the group that wants to distribute free UNI towards itself.

How exactly can an increase in this group’s voting power benefit the Uniswap protocol’s development?

If these goals and this method don’t qualify this group of interest as a bad actor, what does?

a) They want to have quorum without even a slight support of the rest of the Uniswap community. And it happens in the time when the governance is at its most vulnerable point.
b) They want to distribute UNI from the governance treasury towards themselves for free at the expense of everyone else.

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Just running some numbers here. Looks like the combined total of delegated votes between Dharma and Gauntlet is 29.14 Million.

image

So far, the tally is 30,655,106 FOR and 633,960 AGAINST.

image

Now we’ll remove 29.14 Million from Gauntlet and Dharma and we have…

1,515,106 FOR and 633,960 AGAINST

Unless i miscalculated or missed something obvious, we are left with 2 choices:

  1. We expand the conspiracy to additional delegates to extend our confirmation bias around the “take-over Uniswap” narrative/meme
  2. We acknowledge that the majority of Uniswap is voting FOR this proposal

#2 is the most likely outcome, because like most conspiracies, #1 takes a ridiculous amount of effort to pull off, and we can’t even credibly articulate ‘why’ they would even bother doing so.

In any case, it seems to highlight that the Uniswap governance structure is broken in its current form. If we can’t establish the quorum threshold of 40 Million across all votes (for and against), then what are we arguing about? The case against Dharma is secondary to a more pressing issue, which irrespective of the source, this proposal attempts to solve. Are we convinced that we can reach quorum easily for beneficial proposals that have unilateral support? To abstain is to say ‘no’ minus the gas fee? Not sure that is a safe assumption to make.

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I think your argument is flawed in multiple points. There are many people who would vote NO, but will not bother to do so as they see the proposal will not pass. Not voting in this case means voting NO.

For example, I know a couple of people who hold a significant amount of UNI which would completely counter your argument that the community is voting for this proposal and turn it upside down. They did not bother voting now as it is more or less very unlikely that the proposal will pass, but dont worry, people are watching.

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I fear you are correct. My second last statement suggested as much, so i did see the flaw in my own argument.

What are we left with then? Despite our best attempts to create an ideology that democratizes decision making in a decentralized and permissionless manner. Instead, as you have just characterized, we have the kind of manipulation and scheming that is frankly no different from what i see in conventional politics.

My greater point has nothing to do with Dharma. It can be summarized as:

  1. This is all new and we have no idea what will work, but we have ideas!
  2. Create a governance meta-structure that allows us to experiment and adapt quickly in a tight feedback loop as we race toward ‘fit for purpose’ in our system

Making proposal and quorum constraints prohibitively high diminishes our ability to achieve #2, and our ability to maintain coherence in the rapidly moving world of crypto and it’s inherent complexity.

It’s important to keep in mind that Uniswap worked perfectly fine before governance was introduced.

I believe that, for now, governance is a liability rather than an asset to the decentralized nature of this protocol. We do not need to have constant rapid-fire proposals & voting to prove that governance works. A more cautious approach is needed.

Keeping a high threshhold is the right way to go, as long as we have tools such as Compound’s autonomous proposals that allow anyone to offer up an idea to the community in an attempt to garner support.

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Just skipping over most of your post to the end: Uniqueness of identity is something of an open problem in governance. Because yes, it’s trivial to create additional wallets.

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I understand your sentiment but i would caution your approach.

“worked perfectly fine” is retrospective causality. DeFi has accomplished in 12 months what most initiatives take years to replicate. DeFi is the very essence of a highly complex and dynamic system. ‘Caution’ is anathema to what got us here. The torrid pace of innovation, in both tech and governance, is required to survive. So, we can politely disagree on this point. From what we have learned through the science of complex adaptive systems, staying at that edge of discomfort is an existential requirement. Seeking stability, caution, restrictive constraints, makes Uniswap highly prone to entropy. At this point, it doesn’t take the ‘next’ uniswap much energy to replace what’s there with a better service.

From what i can see as a consumer, if you can nail the following, Uniswap should do well:

  1. a better and more intuitive user experience to draw in a wider consumer base and accelerate adoption
  2. improved trust through some sort of decentralized governance that makes it ‘safer’ to invest - we are still in the wild west here and that scares the majority of consumers and institutions
  3. an institutional grade of financial instruments to ensure scalability, economy of use (gas fees!), security, and insurance. as long as ‘rug pull’ remains the dominant narrative amongst CT, good luck trying to draw in more capital. looking at DeFi charts in the last 2 months plainly demonstrates that we hit a glass ceiling.

The added layer of governance will help, and i would argue, is necessary to navigate the obstacles we know are ahead.

Speaking of DeFi, I was a Dharma app user and in the spirit of full decentralization, I expected the app to work the same way. However, it appears that their system kicks in some sort of KYC and there have been reports of users having their funds locked for no apparent reason. I see that Dharma delegates here are touting governance, when their own app is not supporting any principles of decentralization.

If Dharma wants this, they should pay something in return to the Uniswap community. Their surge fees is a price gouging scheme and hurts users more, despite claims made to the contrary i.e. friendly user interface.

As usual, assume positive intent in this dialogue.

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I’m agree with uniswap controlling not to dharma

The current vote is not representative due to a couple of reasons.

  1. It is a Rider proposal. It means that it grabs the votes of people who want to reduce the proposal threshold while being neutral on lowering the Quorum threshold.

As there wasn’t even a topic on the forum focusing on lowering the quorum, it’s not a thing in the governance discourse, so more people are neutral.

  1. People who delegated their votes towards Dharma & Gauntlet can’t revoke their votes if they don’t support the proposal.

The current voting procedure fails at its primary purpose: people expressing their will.

If you delegated your votes to Gauntlet because they promised to be politically neutral, and now they vote in contradiction to their statement and against your will, there’s nothing you can do.

  1. Only votes that were delegated or self-delegated before the proposal can take part in the voting procedure.

It means that there’s no room to respond.

And the majority of voters had no idea about this system design .

==

Voters who hadn’t claimed their liquidity mining rewards yet can’t vote .

Voters who haven’t self-delegated (as there were no proposals) can’t vote .

Part of voters who delegated to the wrong candidate vote opposed to their will .

==

There are multiple severe flaws in the current voting procedure.

And Dharma & Gauntlet are trying to take advantage of it.

They take advantage of voters not being able to respond to their actions. And they try to take advantage of the way UNI is distributed while they can.

As I said earlier, it only makes sense to support what Dharma & Gauntlet do for people who are direct beneficiaries of the airdrop they try to push through.

They can only do that in the very early stages .

As later, more percentage of the supply will go to Liquidity providers, the team & investors, who have no interest in making said airdrop.

And airdrop is a euphemism, by the way.

The initial airdrop was an airdrop, and the team had reasons to do it the way they did.

Dharma’s ‘airdrop’ is closer to sending UNI from the governance treasury towards your addresses without doing anything useful to earn that. The adequate word would be stealing, as it comes at the expense of all other network participants.

It has nothing to do with Uniswap protocol development.

It is just an attempt to get free money & more voting rights.

And to get this free money, this group of interest is willing to compromise the protocol’s governance procedure.

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The sheer gaslighting in this thread is staggering. Don’t be fooled, this quorum proposal is a DIRECT ATTACK against uniswap’s governance. Vote NO

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Supporting the expressed concerns 100%. I feel a deep mistrust towards the proposal and voting system.
Please stop this now! Nearly noone will like the outcomes. It hurts uniswap governance.

  • Have a longer voting period. With much more open discussion beforehand.
    Look at EIP in Ethereum. A healthy discussion is needed!
  • Allow redirecting delegated anytime. Dont let people ‘be locked in’
  • Dont allow changes of “voting limits” in the upcoming year.
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If anything we should vote to raise thresholds after this attack by Dharma

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Thanks, uni0 for bringing this up. This is a clear vote - NO. It seems I missed the window to delegate.

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I was originally for this proposal as reducing the number of votes required to make a proposal is unlikely to be an issue. However, the second part of the proposal is much more troubling as it risks centralising Uniswap substantially.

No proposals being passed for a short while is better than a bad proposal being passed when the future of the largest Decentralised Finance project is at stake. I have only now enabled delegating so I wasn’t eligible to vote on this one. However, if this proposal was to come up again without the quorum reduction I would support it.

If anything this has shown how easy it is to reach around 30M votes (Almost all of these are from Dharma & Gauntlet), that in itself is a reason that I’d have to vote down a similar proposal if it contained the 2nd clause.

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